The physical environment can affect the physical health, safety, social opportunities, and development of a child. Poor neighborhood conditions, such as rundown housing, evidence of vandalism, and litter or garbage on the street may contribute adversely, either directly or indirectly, to a child’s overall well-being.
Parents of 16.0 percent of children reported that they lived in neighborhoods with litter or garbage on the street or sidewalk, while 16.2 percent of children were reported to live in neighborhoods with poorly kept or rundown housing, and 11.6 percent lived in neighborhoods with evidence of vandalism, such as broken windows or graffiti. Overall, 71.3 percent of children were reported to live in neighborhoods with none of these conditions, while the remaining 28.8 percent lived in neighborhoods with at least one of these conditions.
While most children at all income levels live in neighborhoods with none of these detracting elements, 40.9 percent of children with household incomes below the Federal poverty level (FPL) lived in areas with at least one of them, compared to 17.2 percent of children with household incomes of 400 percent of FPL or more.